When it’s cold and rainy outside and the kids have run out of ideas, pull this one out and you’re sure to show them a good time. It’s also a great use of your extra paper plates! With some imagination, your kids can turn themselves into a whole library of lions or a pack of tigers. Once they create their beautiful masks, they’ll be off and running onto a new adventure. Lions, tigers and bears—oh my!
What You Need:
- Large size paper plates (white)
- Markers (including black)
- Yarn (in different colors)
- Construction paper (in variety of colors)
- Hole punch
- Elastic string
What You Do:
- Lay out a paper plate, upside down, in front of each child. Ask them what animal mask they’d like to wear. Give them a choice between a lion, tiger, bear, or dog (to keep things simple!).
- After they decide which creature they want to be, have them pick the color of their mask. If it’s brown, for example, help them cut a circle the same size as their plate out of brown paper and glue it onto the plate.
- Now see if they can draw the features of that animal on their plate. For instance, for the bear, have them draw a large, triangle-shaped nose and big eyes. For the tiger, encourage them to draw whiskers and stripes. Make sure they draw only on the flat part of the plate. Tell them not to draw ears, they'll go on later!
- Using the construction paper and a pencil, draw a set of ears for your mask. For the dog, try drawing long, oval-shaped ears so they look droopy. For the bear, draw two large triangles.
- Now cut out each set of ears and glue them to the top of the plate. Let dry.
- Continue by cutting out the eyes, nose and mouth. Try holding the plate up to the child's face to make sure the eyes match up with his eyes. Be sure the kids have decorated around the eyes, making eyebrows or whiskers or dots and stripes. For added effect, glue strips of yellow yarn to make a lion’s mane around the sides and top of the plate. Or, glue black yarn to the drawn-on whiskers.
- Punch a hole on either side of the plate, thread a piece of elastic string through the side and tie it on tightly. Place the mask on your child and bring the string around to the other side and tie it through the hole. The mask should fit snugly.
Now let your house become a jungle, complete with wild animals!
Lisa M. Cope is a freelance writer who focuses on parenting and child development issues, among many others. She is the mother of two boys, ages five and two.